For as long as modern civilization has been around, so has politics. Some people are natural-born politicians. Other, more special people, just believe they are. They have so much conviction in their unique beliefs that they find the biggest platform to spread their word. When that platform becomes the political stage, it becomes a beautiful disaster worth watching. Or reading about.
You won’t believe what punk band’s lead singer actually ran for president.
Pablo Escobar Runs For Change
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Making his living as one of the greatest cartel leaders of all time, Pablo Escobar did more in his life than get people high. At his peak in the 1980s, the “King of Cocaine” was shipping 70 to 80 tons of cocaine into the United States monthly. Not satisfied only being a drug dealer, Escobar found his way into political office that same decade.
In 1982 Pablo Escobar was elected as an alternate member of the Chamber of Representatives of Columbia. During his time in office, he made it a point to build houses and football fields in Columbia, winning the favor of local communities. During this time Columbia also became the murder capital of the world. Despite his local popularity, the Columbian government vilified Escobar and he was shot and killed by Columbian National Police in 1993.
The Rent Is Too Damn High Party Gets Real About The Cost Of Rent!
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A political party formed in New York with the belief that rent is “too damn high,” the Rent Is Too Damn High Party has nominated candidates twice to run for the city’s mayor. Both times, in 2005 and 2009, the party elected founder Jimmy McMillan to lead their noble charge.
As funny as the name is, McMillan doesn’t take his political stance as a joke. He believes that by eliminating the insane cost of rent in New York that upwards of six million jobs could be created. The party also wants to cut property tax and consolidate rent boards without cutting the budget from education. If it all sounds too good that’s because it is. So far in his political career, Jimmy McMillan and the Rent Is Too Damn High Party haven’t garnered more than a laugh in polling numbers.
If you think The Rent Is Too Damn High party is funky, wait until you read about Vermin Supreme — yes, that is an actual name.
Vermin Supreme Takes The Performance To The Polls
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A performance artist and anarchist, Vermin Supreme has run for President of the United States on three different occasions for three different parties. The basis of his platform is simple; tear down the government and have citizens take responsibility for themselves. He also believes everyone should have the right to a free pony.
During Supreme’s three runs at political office, the right to free ponies is one stance he never wavered on. In fact, he believed so strongly that everyone should have a free pony that he promised his constituents they would all get a free pony after his successful election. Sadly, that day has not come.
Jonathon “The Impaler” Sharkey Wants To Suck Your Blood
Jonathon “The Impaler” Sharkey is a professional wrestler turned vampire who wants nothing more than to become President of the United States of America. His stance is pretty relatable too; he just wants to impale criminals, dismember drug dealers, and suck the blood of beautiful women.
The Impaler put his political stances to the test in 2012, attempting to run as a Republican. The campaign was unsuccessful, although Sharkey did gain notoriety and even appeared on the Tucker Carlson Show letting the world know he was a right-wing vampire who got his first taste of blood at five years old. Sharkey, who somehow has three children, plans to run for political office again in 2020.
Jack Sparrow would fit in perfectly with our next party!
The United States Pirate Party Doesn’t Care About Your Bootie
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Founded in 2006 by Brent Allison and Alex English, the Pirate Party has no interest in setting sail and pillaging cruise ships. We lied, sorry Captain Jack! All these pirates want are copyright laws to allow for open sourcing and free downloads. They also want government transparency and the protection of privacy and civil liberties.
Unable to gain enough initial support upon forming a political party, the Pirate Party had to wait until 2011 to become legally recognized in the United States. In 2012 the party began expansions and has since found home bases in eight states. Growing steadily since its founding, the Pirate Party’s attempts to invade political offices have so far failed, but they refuse to give up without a fight!
Our next politician knows a lot about coming in second…
Clay Aiken Is More Than An American Idol Runner-Up
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Clay Aiken is best known as the runner-up to Ruben Studdard on American Idol in 2002. The show was good to Aiken, leading to a very lucrative Broadway career. In fact, in 2010 it was reported he made $1.5 million from his music and stage appearances. In 2014 Aiken took his career to a much larger stage.
Running as a member of the Democratic party, Clay Aiken ran for North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District. His platform was based on equal rights for the LGBT community. Winning the race by 400 votes, Aiken became the Democratic nominee in the general election. Unfortunately, he lost to Republican candidate Renee Elmers in the general election. We told you he was really good at placing second!
Roseanne Barr Places Sixth!
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In 2012 television superstar and comedienne Roseanne Barr stepped foot into the political pool. Not only did she run for President of the United States, she also ran for Prime Minister of Israel. Initially running as a member of the Green Party, Barr lost the nomination to Jill Stein and quickly changed affiliation to the Peace and Freedom Party.
Winning her new parties support, Barr enlisted Cindy Sheehan as her running mate, but the pairing was not one made in heaven. Sheehan hated Barr and abandoned the campaign after being told she could not withdraw. Despite all the turmoil and controversy surrounding Roseanne Barr’s campaign, she managed to get 0.05 percent of the nation’s vote, finishing sixth overall in the Presidential race.
Basil Marceaux Might Actually Be Insane
A lesser known name on this list, the story of Basil Marceaux and his many failed attempts at running for political office is worth knowing. Running for Governor of Tennessee in 2010, Marceaux promised all those that voted for him immunity from any state crime until they died. The video of his speech went viral, with Marceaux having to explain that he was not drunk, but only had three teeth. Okay…
The day before the primary, Marceaux’s criminal record was brought to the attention of the public. Although not featuring any major crimes, Marceaux had been cited for a number of traffic violations, seven of which he pleaded insanity to and was found not guilty. Marceaux did not win the gubernatorial election.
Maybe if Marceaux had been running for election in California in 2003 like Mary Carey he would have had a chance!
Mary Carey Takes Politics Seriously… Kinda
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During the 2003 California recall election, politics became a magnet for crazy in the state. One notable name who jumped into the political arena was adult film star, Mary Carey. Designed by her talent agency as nothing more than a publicity stunt, Carey actually put up decent numbers on her indecent platform, finishing 10th overall out of 135 candidates.
In 2006 Carey made a legitimate bid for Lieutenant Governor of California running as an independent. Sadly, she had to drop out of the campaign after her mother jumped off a four-story building and needed someone to take care of her. After the incident, Carey quit politics to not only take care of her mother but also clean up her own life.
Gary Coleman Quits Mid-Election
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Another candidate from the 2003 California recall election, Gary Coleman never intended to become the state’s acting Governor. Like Carey, Coleman’s campaign was created as a publicity stunt, this time by satirical publication East Bay Express. With no real campaign promises, Coleman’s candidacy never should have gotten as far as it did.
In fact, when Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he was running, Coleman publicly conceded, stating he would vote for the action film icon. Coleman’s last-minute attempt to bring seriousness back to the recall election didn’t work, and he ended up with 14,242 total votes, placing him 8th among qualified candidates.
Gracie Allen Is The Original Female Candidate
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Part of the comedy duo Burns and Allen, Gracie Allen took her run at political office in 1940. One of the first women to run for President, her campaign may have started out as a joke to gain viewers, but quickly took on a life of its own. Allen charged forward with her campaign. As a member of the newly formed Surprise Party, she ran on a platform believing in equal rights between men and women.
Although her campaign was unsuccessful against the conservative culture of the time, Allen did manage to win an endorsement from Harvard University as well as the Mayoral vote of Menominee, Michigan. She was ultimately disqualified for not being a resident and returned to her very successful comedy career.
While it’s hard being a woman in politics, it’s impossible to run for President if you’re under 35 years old!
Joe Walsh Is Too Young
At 33-years-old, Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh made a serious bid to run for President. Promising free gas for everyone, Walsh garnered plenty of attention for his campaign. He also claimed he would change the country’s National Anthem to the Eagles’ song, “Life’s Been Good.” Surprisingly, Walsh’s run was not made for publicity or laughs.
Sadly, Walsh’s campaign fizzled after he overlooked one major detail. According to the Constitution, any candidate running for President of the United States must be at least 35-years-old. Oops. Undeterred, Walsh ran again in 1992, this time as Vice President, and even recorded a brand new song, “Vote For Me” as his slogan.
Stephen Colbert Did Not Make A Joke Of The System
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In 2008 Stephen Colbert launched his campaign to become the next President on his late night talk show The Colbert Report. Despite announcing his campaign on Comedy Central Colbert promised followers that his campaign was legitimate and he was using his platform to help gain grassroots support.
Choosing to run as a member of the Democratic Party, Colbert submitted his application for a spot on the ballot. The South Carolina Democratic Party voted 13-3 against Colbert, rejecting his candidacy, stating, “The general sense of the council was that he wasn’t a serious candidate.” Since his campaign failure, Colbert has not attempted to run for office again, or hint that he might be willing to.
Jello Biafra Is So Punk Rock
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Jello Biafra, lead singer of punk rock band The Dead Kennedy’s, tried to run for President as the Green Party candidate in 2000. Trying was as far as Biafra was able to get though as he ran a punk rock campaign that was too extreme for many. During his initial campaign, Biafra chose Mumia Abu-Jamal as his running mate. Fun fact, Abu-Jamal was on death row, and the move likely killed Biafra’s chances.
After losing to Ralph Nader in a landslide, Jello Biafra put his full support behind the Green Party’s chosen candidate. Biafra did not run again but has been critical of every President since, regardless of political party or affiliation. He’s just so punk rock!
Stacey Dash Runs For Congress
Clueless actress Stacey Dash has been politically vocal for a long time. This year she’s putting her money where her mouth is and is running for Congress. The actress, who most recently starred in Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens, announced her bid in February 2018 to run for a spot in California’s 44th District.
Dash made the final decision to run after polling her Twitter followers and seeing their support. While she is yet to release her platform, she will likely run as a Republican after supporting Mitt Romney for President in 2012 and Donald Trump for President in 2016.
Next up we have a candidate who ran his campaign from prison and almost won!
Lyndon LaRouche Runs From Prison
From 1976 until 2004 Lyndon LaRouche ran for President in every election. His eight bids in a row are a record that shows his determination. Seven times he ran as a Democrat and one time he ran as the candidate for the U.S. Labor Party. In 1992 Lyndon LaRouche earned another unique distinction, he became the second person in history to run a campaign from a prison cell after being charged with credit card fraud and obstruction of justice.
In 2004 LaRouche almost won bragging rights after he was able to boast he had the most contributors to his campaign for the first three-quarters of the election cycle. Never having come close to being elected President, LaRouche finally gave up after 2004 and now spends his time promoting ideas including the colonization of Mars.
LaRouche might be living in the future, but our next candidate won’t stop living in the past!
The National Prohibition Party Hates Fun
Claiming the Prohibition era was the greatest 13 years in American history, the National Prohibition Party has one, very obvious goal in mind. Still, in order to bring prohibition back, the party needs to get a President elected. In 2004 and 2008 they chose Gene Amondson as their candidate. A preacher for 40 years in Washington, Amondson was more than up for the task.
As part of his campaign, Amondson claimed that “drinking responsibly is like teaching a pig to eat with a spoon. Can’t happen.” So far the National Prohibition Party has been met by mostly deaf years, rarely getting a percentage of votes. We think we know why.
Pat Paulsen Uses Is Funny For A Reason
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In 1968 popular comedy duo the Smother Brothers jokingly asked comedian Pat Paulsen to run for President. Paulsen threw caution to the wind, saying, “Why not? I can’t dance, besides, the job has a good pension plan.” Although not making a serious run at the time, Paulsen used his exposure to highlight real issues happening in the United States.
Later in his life, Paulsen would take more serious runs at political office, finishing second to George Bush in the North Dakota Republican Primary in 1992. Four years later, in 1996, he received 921 votes to finish second to Bill Clinton in the Democratic primary.
Let’s all take our next candidate’s advice and just breathe.
John Hagelin Is At Peace With The World
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John Hagelin has run for President multiple times a member of the Natural Law Party. The party, founded in 1992 on the principle of Transcendental Meditation, believes that the laws of nature should apply to every level of government. Hagelin, a physicist at the University of Iowa, is the most notable candidate the party has had run for President.
A transcendentalist himself, Paul Hagelin is open in his beliefs that through the Maharishi effect, the entire nation can reach peace if only the square root of one percent of the population meditates. Hagelin and the group never made believers out of the voting public and Hagelin, despite running for President multiple times, has never made it out of the primaries.
Jack Shepard Runs For Senate From Exile
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Jack Shepard is a dentist who exiled himself from the United States 30 years ago after being convicted on sexual assault and drug charges. Now calling Italy his home, Shepard longs for a day he can return to the United States. Listing his home address as St. Paul, Minnesota, Shepard has run for Congress twice, Senate once, and President once.
Shockingly, Shepard managed to get 33 percent of the primary vote in 2006. As part of his campaign, he tries to explain his criminal behavior as confusion caused by years of overdosing on lithium. He promises he is clean now and living a life full of good behavior.